By the time you read this post, I will have celebrated my 67th birthday quite in style in Charleston, South Carolina with my Silver Fox, who is my forever favorite travel companion and husband of 46 years. I must say that we are enjoying this stage of our lives to the fullest and try hard to remember to appreciate and be thankful for every minute we are given.
On my birthday, one of the first thoughts I always have is how much longer I have been allowed to live on this earth, to enjoy my family and friends and (hopefully) to make a difference to people I come in contact with than my own mother was given. She died suddenly at the age of 55. Truthfully, anyone who knew her would have to say that she lived every one of those 55 years fully and with joy. She woke up that fateful Saturday morning and got out all of her ingredients to start making cookies for a bridal shower she was to co-host. Then, she suddenly had a blinding headache and soon lost consciousness as a result of a brain aneurysm. My dad, my siblings, her siblings and I were all devastated. She, however, was immediately ushered into heaven. Of this, I have no doubt “for the Bible tells me so.” Mom had accepted Christ at an early age and was a faithful follower to the end. She taught us that “life was too short to sweat the small stuff,” and that was how she went about her days. She was blessed.
Another thought I have is about the generous number of years my dad was given on earth. He died just about six weeks shy of his 89th birthday, and for the vast majority of those years, he enjoyed good health, a host of friends and the devoted love of first my mother and then our sweet stepmother June. He had a very productive and successful career, he managed his money wisely, and he was able to live very comfortably. He was blessed.
I am now into my FOURTH career — through all of which I have found tremendous fulfillment. I have 12 grandchildren with #13 due in October. I used to quip that I wanted to “live long enough to dance at all of the grandchildren’s weddings.” But, if Julie keeps having babies, that might get more and more challenging, wouldn’t you say? Steve and I are so proud of the adults our children have become, and we praise God for their lives and the influence and impact they are making on the world. I am blessed. There’s no doubt about it. I am blessed.
I am not guaranteed another hour or day on this earth. I believe that God absolutely knows the exact “number of my days,” and that I will die when He has ordained that my time is over . . . and not one minute before. He is still giving me assignments. He is still putting me in the path of people who need a touch, a word, a laugh, a hug or a challenge that He wants me to supply. And my job is to be sensitive to know who those people are and how I’m supposed to respond.
I learned from my mother the fun and wonder of making any and every occasion into something to celebrate, and for several years now, I’ve declared that the entire month of May is my Birth MONTH. I highly recommend that you find the joy around you, that you celebrate often and well, that you laugh loudly and with abandon, that you forgive others quickly and thoroughly, and that you “praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow!”
12 Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
13 Relent, Lord! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.
17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.